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America is a nation of devout carnivores, leading the world in per capita meat consumption. With roughly 123 kg of meat eaten per person per year, our consumption is double that of China, more than six times that of Peru, and nearly 38 times that of India. And while meat consumption is known to rise in correlation with per capita GDP, it's hard to argue that this distinction is purely a factor of economic virility. This is, after all, the birthplace of BBQ, the cheeseburger, New York strip steaks...and the turducken.

But while American gastronomy heartily embraces a high-protein diet, it has tended to stick with the tried-and-true trinity of beef, chicken, and pork, which continue to dominate most menus. That's starting to change though.

Lamb, a meat that roughly one third of Americans have yet to taste, is slowly gaining favor in the United States thanks to two distinct but related trends. First, record populations of immigrants for whom lamb is part of vernacular cuisine; second, growing interest from foodies who are hungry to try new ingredients, techniques, and flavor profiles. These young, savvy, predominantly urban eaters spend upwards of $173 per week on food- more than any other age group - and closely follow celebrity chefs and dining trends.

Tender and lean, lamb meat comes from sheep less than one year old and has only 175 calories per 3-ounce serving. Its complex flavor can stand up to strong seasonings like rosemary, mint, curry, and cumin. American lamb consumers collectively purchase approximately 400 million pounds of lamb each year, or roughly 3.2 pounds of lamb per person. Half of that lamb comes from domestic producers in California, Texas, Colorado, or Wyoming, while the other half comes from foreign countries like New Zealand and Australia.

Twenty percent of annual U.S. lamb sales occur in the spring, often surrounding religious holidays like Easter and Passover. (We might reconsider the phrase "spring chicken.") So if you're one of the uninitiated, consider giving lamb a try this spring.

[For a limited time, The Capital Grille's lunch menu will feature a new Mediterranean Lamb Burger, stuffed with feta cheese and served with tomato tapenade. Click here to make your reservation.]